Renée G. Wellman

VALIER Renée G. Wellman, Poh kawa kasaki "Little Antelope Women," 53, of Valier, died of cancer Friday, March 29.

Funeral services are 2 p.m. today at Browning Methodist Church. Burial will follow in WillowCreek Cemetery. Pondera Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Renée was born in Waukegan, Ill., on June 25, 1959, to Dorothy Guardipee and Carl Adamson and Edward Bourelle. She was the third of eight children. She graduated from Homedale High School in 1977 and shortly after married her best friend and soul mate, Craig Wellman, on July 15, 1979, in Valier. Together they had five children, who were her pride and joy.

Renée was a kind, loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother who always put her family first. She enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren as they participated in their many activities. After raising her children, Renée went on to earn her bachelor's degree, master's degree and was currently working on her doctorate in curriculum and instruction.

Renée, the principal of Heart Butte Elementary, was a longtime educator who inspired many students throughout the Blackfeet Reservation, Oregon and New Mexico.

She is survived by her husband, Craig Wellman; children Kristin (Cheyenne) McClure of St. Ignatius, Niché Wellman of Valier, Andrea (Garrett) McDougall of Valier, Kyle (Kara)Wellman of River Falls,Wis., and Kelsey Wellman of Valier; mother Dorothy Guardipee; sisters Carlene (Tom) Adamson-McKay, Roxie (Scotty) Augare, Cheryl Walling and Brenda Meineke; brothers Duke (Terry) Adamson, Brett (Kim) Harwood and Jay Adamson; extended Daychief family of Alberta and the Bourelle family of South Dakota/Minnesota; grandchildren Wacey McClure, Kellen McClure, Theoron McDougall, Maeleigh Gardner, Addie Wellman, Brooklyn McClure, Nolan McDougall, Arreya Wellman, Dorian McDougall and baby Paisley Renée Wellman.

Renée is preceded in death by her father, Edward Bourelle; and grandparents Robert and Iola Harwood and Vera Cassell.

Condolences may be posted online at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 2, 2013